In 2017, 6 million people in America registered to participate in obstacle course races.
Why? During a time when marathon participation is in decline, why are obstacle course races so popular?
Maybe crawling under barbed wire and pushing yourself to your physical limit doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time. I’m here to convince you you’re wrong.
Everyone should try the Spartan Race at least once in their life. Here’s why.
It Creates a Goal to Work Towards
Do you ever feel like you’re trapped in the movie Groundhog’s Day?
Every day feels exactly the same, and so do the weeks, months, and even years.
If you’re trapped in the prison of mundanity and drudgery, having a goal to work towards will add meaning, excitement, and purpose to your days. Having goals is vital to giving you direction and focus in life.
Sure, you could train to run a regular old marathon, but why not make it exciting and run one of the many obstacle course races available?
What is a Spartan Race, you ask? Spartan is one company of many that provide obstacle course races that incorporate things like crawling under barbed wire, climbing over walls, and crawling through the mud.
It Gets You in the Best Shape of Your Life
Do you feel like your best days fitness-wise are behind you?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Training for and competing in races like Tough Mudder or the Spartan Race will legitimately get you in the best shape of your life. Why?
Not only will you improve your cardiovascular fitness, but you’ll also have to focus on strength training and flexibility. Obstacle course racing is a whole-body exercise.
Do you do daily yoga but can’t open a pickle jar? Could you lift a full keg but can’t touch your toes? Train for and run a Spartan Race, and your physical abilities will balance out in no time.
It Challenges Your Will Power
I’m going to be real with you. There will be some times when you’ll feel like you just can’t go on.
But you can, and you will.
Competing in a Spartan Race is a great way to prove to yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. There are a lot of different races to choose from, so to help you narrow it down, check out these Spartan Race reviews.
You’ll Feel Amazing
Have you ever gotten a runner’s high after a quick one-mile jog?
Get ready for that feeling, times a thousand.
Physical activity produces endorphins that can boost your mood, increase your self-confidence, lower stress, and help relieve pain. Participating in a Spartan Race will also release dopamine, the neurochemical that reinforces reward-seeking behavior, and adrenaline.
Not only will you feel incredible as you work towards your goal and then achieve it, but the night after the Spartan Race, you’ll get the best sleep of your life. Trust me.
It’ll Help You Put Life in Perspective
Have you ever noticed that even when things are going pretty well for you, you can find the tiniest things to be bothered by?
A long line at the grocery store, a little more traffic than usual, or a small spot on your new sweater can be enough to drive you into a rage.
Becoming a mountain climbing, bucket full of rocks carrying, puddle crossing Spartan will change your frame of reference. Other things in life become easier, and tiny inconveniences become no big deal.
You’ll Be Surrounded By Positive Influences
This is a simple one, but so important.
A lot of times in life, we feel like we’re trying to better ourselves in a vacuum. It can be hard to stay motivated and stick with your goals when you’re all by your lonesome.
When you run a Spartan Race, you’ll be surrounded by tons of other people who have been working towards the same goal as you. These people are both your competitors and your cheer squad. It’s refreshing, healthy, and oh so positive.
You’ll Experience the Joy of Personal Growth
Nothing feels better than bettering yourself. While some people believe that you are who you are, and nothing can change that, others embrace the reality that you are a forever changing and unfolding being in a state of becoming.
Obstacle course racing, like any challenge, is a great way to experience the benefits of personal growth.
In the process, you’ll both learn about yourself, and you’ll stretch beyond the limits of what you thought you were capable of.
It’ll Remind You What it Means to Feel Alive
Have you ever gone camping and thought to yourself, “this is what it means to be alive?”
It’s easy for us to get caught up in the day-to-day, humdrum reality of being an adult in the 21st century—rent, bills, work, errands, cooking dinner, cleaning, killing time on the internet.
Running a Spartan Race will scoop you out of that world and place you smack-dab in the middle of another, perhaps better, world. A world where you use your body, a world where you interact with nature, a world where you can mind-over-matter your way through any challenge. It’s beautiful.
You’ll Build Self-Confidence
The Spartan Race is a goal to achieve, but it can also be the first step in the fitness journey of your life.
Both regular exercise and participation in sports are believed to be positively correlated with higher self-esteem and more positive self-perceptions. Training for and competing in a Spartan Race can be a kick-start to the self-confidence you desire to stay fit and active.
You’ll Experience the Peace and Beauty of Nature
If you spend most of your time in the belly of the civilizational beast, running a Spartan Race will allow you to get your hands dirty and benefit from the quiet peace of nature.
Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. This is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself as well as improve both your physical and mental health in an idyllic setting. Where do I sign up?
It Serves as a Rite of Passage
Have you ever wondered when exactly you became an adult? Somewhere between finishing school and where you are now, adulthood graced you with its presence.
In other more traditional cultures, there are rituals in place to signify the passage of an individual from one phase of life into another.
Since our culture doesn’t perform this service for us, it’s something we ought to gift ourselves. While there are a lot of different things you could do to anoint yourself into adulthood officially, a Spartan Race is an excellent metaphor for the journey of life, the obstacles you face, and a finish line to cross you into your next phase of being.
It’ll Cure Your Boredom
If you feel like life is just work, sleep, repeat until death, taking on the challenge of a Spartan Race will wipe that perspective right out of your mind.
The thing about boredom is that it’s not about the activity; it’s about how your level of skill and the level of challenge interact.
Remember when you were a little kid, and you could be entertained for hours by the most straightforward task? That’s because, at the time, it wasn’t simple. It was just the right amount of challenging for your skill level.
If something is too challenging, you’ll bounce off it. It something is too easy, you get bored.
No one claims a Spartan Race is easy, but many find it to be right in that sweet spot of slightly out of reach but still attainable. You might have a lot of feelings when you participate in an obstacle course race, but I promise bored won’t be one of them.
It’ll Open the Door to Other Challenges
Even if you were skeptical about participating in a Spartan Race, the chances are that soon after you finish, you’ll be daydreaming about your next challenge.
The Benefits Will Bleed Into Other Aspects of Your Life
Sports and exercise are great metaphors for life as a whole. Though it might not seem like carrying a heavy bucket full of rocks up a mountain might not benefit you in your day job as a data analyst, it actually will.
That’s because through the grueling yet simple tasks you’ll be performing, you’ll be internalizing the skills discipline, will-power, problem-solving, and positive thinking. No matter what part of your life you felt like you were struggling with, you mind find you have a fresh perspective after the race is done.
Participating in a Spartan Race Will Change Your Life
Have I convinced you yet? No matter what your athletic abilities are, there are options for complete beginners as well as elite athletes. So what’s holding you back?
The Spartan Race costs range depending on several factors, but it’ll typically put you back between 60 and 200 dollars. When you look at it as an experience that’ll change your life forever, that’s a steal!
Did you love this article about the Spartan Race? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more motivating and informative health and fitness articles!